Tips for Traveling with Kids
Traveling with kids can be stressful, especially when they are so young! After a couple trips with my 3 year old, almost 2 year old and 7 month old, I feel like I have it down to a pretty good science. That does NOT mean that there are no meltdowns and its all sunshine and rainbows- but I have learned to not fret the small stuff because toddlers will be toddlers! Here are some tips to make your trips with your little ones more relaxing and fun for everyone:
Bring Activities for the Plane/Car. We like to use the phone/ tablets as a last resort, so until the meltdowns happen I like to pack a little baggy of activities for each kid. I just make a quick run to the Dollar Store and get simple things like small rubber animal toys, stickers and coloring books, and other small things that will distract them for at least a few minutes. Some other good activities are sticker clings for the plane windows and filling a plastic egg up with cheerios. The most important thing is that these toys/activities should be something new! Don’t give it to them until they are on the plane so there is still an excitement factor.
It’s All in the Preparation. I try to pack a week in advance so that I am not totally stressed out right before we leave. I also make a list of stuff that I need to still throw in at the last minute so I know I won’t forget anything.
Respect Bed Time. We do our very best to honor normal bedtime routines while on vacation. It is especially important to do so because I have found that sleeping in a strange place already throws our kids off, so trying to stick to their normal bed time routines as close as possible helps with that.
Noise Machines. These have been a godsend on vacation! We never go anywhere without them. We use this rohm at home as well as while traveling. It’s small, easy to pack and rechargeable.
Slumber Pod. This is an easy to set up, lightweight tent invented by two mothers. It fits over a pack n play to make your child’s sleeping space completely blackout. It is also great if your child has to be in the same room as you or one of your other kids. I have found that this is definitely better for younger babies but it depends on your child. You can use the code EXPECTINGEMPOWERED to receive $10 off your purchase!
Separate Rooms. If you are able, find somewhere to stay where your kids can all have separate rooms, especially if that’s what you do at home. This doesn’t have to be a completely separate bedroom- we have used closets, laundry rooms, pantries and bathrooms as bedrooms when the kids are young enough where you can just throw the pack n play anywhere it will fit where it’s quiet. I have found that it makes bed time and sleeping through the night go much smoother when the kids are separated. We pretty much always do an air bnb or VRBO house.
E Bags for Packing. These E bags have been amazing for keeping us organized during packing, on the trip and unpacking. Each person in my family has their own color bags so that way I know whose stuff is whose. They are also great to use to separate dirty laundry from clean laundry when packing to come home.
Speaking of laundry, another benefit to getting a VRBO is that they usually will have a washer and dryer in the house for you. This is a must for us with three kids three and under. If we didn’t have access to laundry, I would have to pack so much more because the kids go through at least a couple outfits a day.
Last but not least… tequila! Kidding, kind of. Do what you need to to get through the week while also enjoying the vacation for yourself! And just remember that vacationing before kids is not the same as vacationing with kids. Just know that you are making memories with your kids and sometimes these memories will be with a cocktail in your hands. The kids will always come first but it is okay to enjoy yourself, too!